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Marc Morial: Engaging in the National Dialogue on Race

Marc Morial, president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League, the nation’s largest civil rights organization, discusses race relations in the United States.

On maintaining a balanced perspective when discussing race: “When it comes to race and racial issues, we all have our own life and perspective. We all bring to adulthood our life experiences – all good, all bad, broad to some extent and limiting in other ways. The journey on race relations and diversity requires that we have an openness to continue to learn and understand.”

On equal opportunity among races: “You can never solve a problem if you don’t acknowledge the existence of the problem. If people perceive that economic opportunity is abundant and that barriers don’t exist, it’s difficult to build the kind of momentum we need to confront these issues. Unfortunately, there is still inequality in this country, and we have to recognize that we will be stronger as a nation if we level the playing field.”

On the evolution of civil rights in the US: “Civil rights in the 20th century meant changing unfair laws that had created systems of exclusion. In the 21st century, the disparities still exist, but the barriers may not be as obvious.”